It could be easy to lose faith in the established church when you hear all about the sexual misdemeanors of some of its leaders and their cardinal sins. I have to admit that when I heard Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the now former Scottish leader of the Catholic Church, speaking on the news that he felt priests should be allowed to marry and have children, I thought he sounded very forward thinking. Yet, only a short while later when he was forced to resign by the Pope after admitting his sexual conduct ‘fell below standards’, we all realized this speech of a pseudo saint had been more of a secret confession before the masses.
It now almost seems he was subconsciously doing his dirty washing in public or was this just his ‘get out clause’, as some media moguls had said he was in the running to be the next pope?
Many will be angry, upset and disgruntled by the ‘shame’ brought up yet again in the established church, but not I. I feel sorry for the man, after all he is just a man, yes maybe one who was put on a pedestal by some, but still just a man with the same urges and needs as other men. I’m not casting the first stone because we’ve all slipped up at some time or other and ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’
Maybe the former Cardinal was right and Catholic priests should be allowed to marry and have children? Maybe if they could have married all of the allegations over the centuries of child abuse, homosexual rumours and fatherless sons and daughters of clergy might never have existed?
The Lord’s views on this subject are quite clear in Matthew 19:12 where Jesus is quoted saying, ‘For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.’ Sadly not everyone can.
I know a former priest, who shall remain nameless, who fell in love with one of his parishioners. Instead of being a hypocrit he was very brave and decided to do the ‘right thing’ and married her. It meant he lost his job in the Catholic Church, but he got a new one in the Anglican Church (which has its own different kettle of problems). He is one of the most Christ like men I know and is certainly doing a great job.
Maybe the new Pope, when he is voted in, should take on board the former Cardinal’s comments on marriage because nothing makes non-believers baulk at Christianity more than hypocrisy. Until then, if Catholic priests can’t restrain themselves and remain celibate, perhaps it would be better if they come clean, get married and find a new job elsewhere? At least that way they wouldn’t be hurting anyone except their themselves and their chances of becoming Pope!
It’s Time for Catholic Priests to End Celibacy Vows (see ping back below in comments).